Tuesday 7 September 2010

The strange case of the postman who did not ring

There was a small click by the front door this morning while I was having breakfast and there was a note from the postman. It explained (as these things tend to) that he had tried to deliver a parcel but I was out.

Odd really. I wasn’t out. Why not just ring the doorbell?

The answer is that this is a small symptom of the damage done by Blairite targets (which he declared himself still in favour of last week). The parcel vans are driven, not by the desire to serve customers, but to deliver more parcels in a set time. Clearly it is no longer worth their while to wait on a doorstep for 20 seconds, and easier just to fill out the slip and push it through.

Efficient? Hardly. Modernisation? I don’t think so. Yet that is the way our public services have been built, in public and private sector alike.

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